Sustainable Customer Service
“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart.” — Pearl S. Buck
“You can’t give what you don’t have.” — Anonymous
You have high expectations of your team. You’ve done the hard work of building and articulating your mission and vision and you have goals and objectives that are solidly connected to where you need to go. The customer is your highest priority and you succeed in giving excellent customer service — most of the time.
But something is missing. You and your team members burn out and your inspiration flattens. You may even lose folks because, as they burn out, they lose steam and performance suffers. This, of course, ultimately starts to show in feedback from customers who start to complain, or just leave themselves.
Has any of this happened to you?
Being internally appreciated and inspired is the gas in the tank of your team. This fuel is used to pour out the gifts you give to your customers through your products or services. Unless you pull into the gas station and fill the tank from time to time, however, you’ll find you and your team are running on fumes before you know it.
Here is a principal that you need to know in order to have a team who produces sustainably:
In the long run you can only treat your customers as well as you treat your team members.
Heartfelt connection, care and empathy for your customers will only exist over time if you are providing it to you and your team internally.
• Regular 1:1s and team meetings that get to the heart of issues and don’t simply gloss them over for the sake of time.
• Having a career planning methodology that gets to the core of a person’s passion and desired direction, and activates that within the framework of their work on your team
• Sustainable wages, hours and benefits. This means not “taking advantage” of people or pushing too hard for long periods of time.
• Regular investments in your team — at least quarterly — where you disconnect from the tasks and reconnect with each other.